Toronto-based yoga instructor offers pandemic-friendly 'window workouts'
TORONTO -- While same may find it difficult to be physically active without access to a gym or trainer, a Toronto yoga instructor is showing clarity and vision by using windows to work out.
Undaunted by physical distancing measures, Ashley McEachern teaches her clients at their own homes by rolling out her yoga mat next to a window or glass door, with her workout partner doing the same inside. Using her Bluetooth headphones, she can call clients and communicate instructions over the phone.
"It's like being in a studio with just a pane of glass between you," McEachern told CTV News in an interview.
Physical activity is considered crucial even amid lockdown measures, with one recent study from the University of Saskatchewan suggesting that students have shown a worsening of already poor dietary habits, low activity levels and high alcohol consumption, with sedentary behaviour rising by an average of three hours to 11 hours per day during isolation.
McEachern's classes offer face-to-face connection with her clients and a chance to offer more tailored guidance and form corrections than she's able to give in a video conference call.
One of her clients, Linda Simmons of Toronto, told CTV News she is more likely to participate and give her best effort if she is practising yoga in person.
"When I tell myself, 'I will do the recorded yoga class,' I never do, never," Simmons said. "'I'll do it in an hour. No, another hour.' But when Ashley comes to the door, I do it."
McEachern said she got the idea when she was taking yoga classes online in the fall, finding herself staring out the window and wishing her teacher was there to help.
"I miss people," she said. "I miss connection."
She pursued the idea and enlisted the help and participation of other fitness instructors, with some as far away as Vancouver Island.
"I'm basically a delivery person, but the package I'm delivering is yoga and fitness," McEachern said.
And despite the cold, McEachern said she's willing to bundle up and brave the weather to help people get active over the winter months.
"If we can create a place where people can exercise and connect with someone safely," she said, "then let's do it."